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September 30, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 30, 1997

cue 3 iirgt Daig

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'If you become successful at investing, there is no better
way to make a living. I could stay home every day.'
- LSA junior Peter Tsu, president of Investment
Partnership, a students' investing club

Uniess otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Home sweet home
Duquette can change adoption for the better


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niversity Law professor Donald
Duquette has taken his position as the
had of the Child Advocacy Law Clinic a
step further by becoming involved in
Adoption 2002 - President Clinton's ini-
tiative that aims to double the number of
children adopted each year by 2002. Prof.
Duquette and his colleagues should be com-
mended for their efforts on the initiative -
but their work should be extended to
resolve other nationwide problems involved
with adoption.
The initiative focuses on changing how
state governments regulate adoption and
foster care. While legal proceedings
involved in adoption and foster care are a
necessity, more attention should be placed
on the welfare of the children involved.
Children's mental and emotional health dur-
ing the adoption process is an integral fac-
tor in their long-term welfare. The main
concern in creating these new regulations is
to provide children with happy homes.
While the initiative is attempting to
'b'reak down racial and ethnic barriers, it
should be concerned with gender, sexual
orientation and marital status as well. These
factors have no detrimental impact on the
loving, nurturing environment that may be
provided for adopted children. There are
currently no laws preventing gay or lesbian
couples or single parents from adopting
:children, but they frequently face signifi-
cant obstacles. A gay or lesbian couple or a
single parent who has met the same require-
ements as a heterosexual couple should not
be denied the right to adopt a child based on
their sexual preference or marital status.
There are too many children in America

without a home or parents to love and care
for them to be eliminating potential parents
from the pool. The ability to provide a nur-
turing environment for an adopted child
should take precedence over all else.
Another concern the initiative addresses
is the unnecessary removal of children from
their families. Uprooting children from their
homes, both foster and biological, can upset
the emotional development of the child. A
stable environment should be the goal of any
foster placement. An integral part of stabili-
ty is permanently establishing children in
one home, to allow them to adjust to school
and the people around them. While welfare
is the main concern, trading young children
like baseball cards must end.
Courts currently use the adversarial sys-
tem to mediate adoptions, which depends
on the court to resolve differences.
Duquette aims to replace this adversarial
system with mediation and family group
conferencing. An approach such as this
would help to ease the transition of adop-
tion for both the child and the adoptive fam-
ily. This conferencing could prematurely
address the child's and the family's con-
cerns, and could head off problems that
children typically face further down the
road as a result of adoption.
Due to the many innovations this initia-
tive is attempting to set in place, the adop-
tion and foster care process may become
easier on all parties involved. The imple-
mentation of many facets of the plan would
ease many of adoption's legalities.
Adoption's purpose should be refocused on
the most important parties involved: the





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Bill for change
New laws will preserve funding for education

Drunken driving touches the lives of
almost anyone who gets behind the
wheel. Whether it is the passenger, driver, or
innocent victim; the stories, or realities,
affect all involved. Michigan has successful-
ly decreased the percentages of drunk dri-
ving accidents - but state and federal offi-
cials still seek ways to cut alcohol-related
accidents and fatalities.
A bill pending in the legislature would
lower Michigan's legal blood-alcohol con-
tent from the current 0.10 percent to 0.08
percent. While this reduction symbolizes
concern and effort by the state, outside
pressure exists. Michigan is in danger of
losing $1 million a year in federal alcohol
prevention funding because the state's
drinking laws fall short of proposed new
federal standards. While Michigan cannot
risk losing this amount of federal funding,
those trying to further reduce drunken dri-
ving accidents must realize that a 0.02 per-
cent change in the legal limit will not nec-
essarily deter those who pose a threat -
repeat offenders and individuals with drink-
ing problems. Numerical manipulations
with the legal blood-alcohol content will
not successfully deter. It is therefore the
new federal standards that need adjust-

in California said, "We are talking about
people with serious alcohol problems who
are intractable to change."
Even with the headway that Michigan
has made, to those closest to the problem,
the glass is still half empty. Even though the
pending bill will not necessarily curb alco-
hol-related accidents, it is a mandatory step
in order to maintain the much-needed fed-
eral funding. One of the most successful
Michigan programs aimed at curbing
drunken driving is run by New Paths, a res-
idential treatment center in Flint. The New
Paths program includes personal counsel-
ing, education courses and mandatory
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as well as
talks by members of Mothers Against
Drunk Driving. In particular, MADD's
high-impact counseling and emotional dis-
cussions tap into the angst that families feel
after being affected by drunken driving
accidents. Programs like New Paths rely
heavily on federal funding and show high
rates of success. A 1995 study showed that
95 percent of those who complete the New
Paths program are not arrested for subse-
quent drunk driving offenses.
Federal officials should recognize that a
reduction in the legal limit will not effec-
tively reach those who continually violate
the law. Instead, the next step should entail
increased funding for programs such as
New Paths. The Michigan legislature needs
to pass this bill, simply to retain federal
funding. At the same time, however, it must
not pretend that this bill will seriously
reduce alcohol-related fatal accidents. The
efforts to curtail and eventually end fatali-
ties due to drunken driving must not cease
after this bill becomes law. Continual
efforts to reach repeat offenders and alco-
holics must accompanv this nending legis-

Lower flags
for Tamara
I am originally from
Washington, D.C. I'm used to
having flags lowered to half
staff after the deaths of
important people. On
Wednesday, Sept. 24, the day
after the hideous murder of
Tamara Williams, 1was sur-
prised to see that no flags on
Central Campus had been
Would it have been too
much trouble for the
University to lower one or
two flags (perhaps on the
Diag or the Union)? Or per-
haps there were more press-
ing issues than the death of a
University senior. My feeling
is that there is no good
excuse for forgetting such an
important act of deference.
Lowering a flag to half
staff is not only an act of
respect. It is a gesture of
mourning. It is also a strong
symbolic gesture that makes
anyone who looks at the flag
reflect on the death and have
a visual reminder of the loss
and even the pain that per-
vades the campus.
I remember the flags at
half staff after the Challenger
exploded. I remember the
flags at half staff after the
death of Thurgood Marshall.
I remember the flags at half
staff after the death of
Richard Nixon. I wish that
the University could have
made it possible for me to
remember the flags after the
death of Tamara Williams.
Now I just remember the
University's aloofness.
Skaters are
In Tish Lehman's letter,
"Skateboards damage, U'
property" (9/25/97), she
describes skateboarding dam-
age to the Cube courtyard.
Ann Arbor and University
laws do not target the damage,
they target the skateboards. No
one is advocating vandalism
of any sort! Most skaters
would agree that "dangerous
and destructive actions" such
as public building target prac-
tice, breaking benches, or per-
sonal assault, should be ille-
gal. However, there is no logi-
cal link between destroying
University facilities and
rolling down the street on soft,
efficient polyurethane wheels.
Why should skateboards be
outlawed as opposed to any
other mode of transportation?
I protest the notion that
destruction is inherent in
skateboarding, that the mere
possession of a piece of wood
makes one an immediate

don't want to run into you any
more than you want to be
damaged. The new organiza-
tion of skaters (e-mail
skaters@umich.edu) promotes
both safe and legal skating.
i am strongly in favor of
police and DPS officers giv-
ing out tickets for any
destructive behavior, from
skating into pedestrians to
domestic violence to anti-
semitic vandalism. But effi-
cient modes of transporta-
tion, safe tricks and exercise
should not be criminal
The cliche of evil skate-
boarders is outdated; a spe-
cific ban on skateboards is
ridiculous; the laws should
be changed.
needed on
North Campus
In response to the recent
death of a fellow student. I
believe we need to provide
domestic abuse services on
North Campus. It is not
always practical to go to
Central Campus when you live
on North Campus because you
need to wait for the bus to
take you there. In a domestic
abuse situation, there is no
time to wait for the bus.
There needs to be a place
for victims of domestic abuse
to go to in an emergency on
North Campus. North
Campus is also an appropri-
ate place for domestic abuse
services because that is
where the family housing is.
The families living in student
housing generally have low
income and high stress levels,
which increase the risk of
domestic abuse. The services
provided need to address the
problems of the families liv-
ing on North Campus. These
services might include job
counseling to help the family
to find employment, family
counseling and a safe place
to go in the event of abuse.
These services need to be
providedto prevent another
senseless death.
must make it
to Pasadena
Michigan must go to the
Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1998.
Why? I'm glad you asked.
Michigan did go to the
Rose Bowl in 1948. My wife
and 1 were University stu-
dents at the time and had

damn well better be there
NEA is
Recently, there has been a
heated debate over the
National Endowment for the
Arts and its relevance to the
overall budget scheme for this
country. And while there is a
significant debate over its
necessity and its effectiveness,
there are a few points which
have oft been overlooked.
First of all, the NEA
receives a budget of almost
$100 million annually. In the
entire national budget, this
amount figures in as less than
one-tenth of one percent. As a
developed nation, we spend far
less than any other on the arts.
Second, the NEA's grants,
which are several thousand
each year, are never enough to
cover full cost of a given pro-
ject. The small amounts of
money that the NEA is able to
grant are actually a foundation
upon which most projects can
then assert their validity and
receive funding from the pri-
vate sector. Private funding
typically accounts for at least
80 percent of a project to
which the NEA has given
money. This goes to show that
the NEA is actually one of the
government's best examples
of the public and private sec-
tors working together.
Third, relying on private
companies for funding would
bring the arts programs in this
country to their knees. Right
now, R Reynolds, one of the
most notorious big tobacco
companies (and a huge arts
funder), is asking people to
whom it has donated money
to speak on its behalf at
tobacco trials and in front of
grand juries. The threat that
RJR is using is that it will
pull funding a specific project
unless that beneficiary speaks
on their behalf and sings the
praises of smoking.
Humiliating? Yes. And the
NEA is perhaps the last pro-
gram that can help put a stop
to big corporations control-
ling arts programs.
Finally, while there have
been some controversial pro-
jects funded by the NEA, con-
sidering the broader picture is
better than focusing on a point
here or there. The fact is that
the NEA funds thousands of
arts events every year, and
one among those thousands is
not reason enough to pull the
plug on this program.
As an arts student myself,
I know that I present a view
that could be seen as biased,
but this is something which is
a very important issue in this
country. The arts are not

The Michigan
Daily celebrate
107 years of
s the daily paper a go?' This
oft-repeated question is
answered once for all by our
appearance today. Yes, the Daily i4s
go. It is here to stay ....
Those words
began the first
editorial statement
printed in the first
issue of The
Michigan Daily,
on Monday, Sept.
29, 1890. Having
completed 107
years ofapublica-
tion at the
University, theJosH
Daily celebrated WHITE
its birthday yester- JUMPING
day, along with the THE GUN
editorial freedom
it has been afforded since its inception.
Spanning more than a century of
culture, ideas, wars, technology and
expansion, the principles that guided
the founding of the Daily and tb
inauspicious beginnings of colleg
newspapers around the country have
not changed; it is those very principles
that allow our nation's students to be
informed about their university com-
munities, about ideas from outside of
their universities and to be exposed to
an educational experience through
The Daily has always striven to
"attain and protect an entirely inde-
pendent, student-run newspap
because we believe a voice indeper*
dent of the University administration
will help us best attain our goals."
Not coincidentally, those words
come from the Daily's preamble,
which was drafted about the time of
the Daily's centennial - when a group
of editors realized that 100 years had
passed since the paper put down in
words why it exists. From the yellow
and frail pages of what began as tW
"U. of M. Daily" to the full-color
broadsheet (and electronic edition on
the Web) that we know today, the need
for a college newspaper has only
Founded at a time when Grand
Opera House show tickets could be
purchased for 35 cents and when there
were fewer than 2,200 students at the
University, the Daily united publica-
tions on campus that were faltering,
order to provide a useful daily paper
for the University community. At its
outset, the Daily began to both support
and critique the University through
news reports, sports stories and edito-
rial commentary, claiming that "The
Daily is its own excuse."
Above all, the Daily pushed to be a
place where students could air their
opinions and find a forum for the stu-
dent voice. In the third issue of to
Daily in 1890, the editors wrote that
"believing that a true U. of M. paper
should voice the sentiment of the
entire University, we have made this
publication, not the organ of one
department, but of all."
Throughout the years, the Daily has
remained separate from the University
administration - students edit and

manage all facets of the paper, from
selling advertising to writing and edi
ing stories, and the newspaper receiv
no funding from the 'University.
Students work to keep the Daily a
viable business while providing the
University with the most comprehen-
sive coverage of important news,
events and athletics.
The separation is important to allow
for the paper's editorial freedom. That
freedom gives the Daily the ability to
show the campus how its administrati
works without having to bow
University pressure. Financial indepen-
dence permits the Daily to operate on its
own, without any outside ability to "pull
the plug" or unduly influence coverage.
This freedom is not provided every-
where. Some schools are subject to
editorial control or financial strangle-
holds - if a university provides the
newspaper's funds, they can withdraw
them at any time. At some college &
editorships are positions that are
in general student-body- elections,
which puts editor-hopefuls in the posi-
tion of pandering to large student
groups and currying favor with other
student leaders.
From the Daily's first edition, the
founders believed in providing the
University with a newspaper that had
integrity and independence while pro-
viding a journalistic education. Tod
without a journalism curriculum aO
with the absence of any courses that
provide practical journalistic experi-
ence, the Daily's role as educator
increases. Students who want to work
for a professional daily newspaper
after graduation have nowhere else on
campus to turn.

ments - focusing on prevention.
Of the more than 490,000 licensed
Michigan drivers convicted of driving while
intoxicated, nearly 5,000 have at least six
offenses on their record. This group of dri-
vers are targeted and eventually swayed
through long-standing publicity and educa-
tion campaigns, not through a decrease in
the legal blood-alcohol content. While the
lower legal limit places added fear upon
those who cannot decide whether to have
another glass of wine, this type of drinker is
not the problem. As Russ Fontaine. a senior


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